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Clinton Speaks on Investment of Women and Girls as Critical to Global Development

In a speech last week to the Center for Global Development, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed how a focus on women and girls will be a key part of the Obama administration’s new development strategy. Clinton stated that it is “time to elevate development as a central pillar of all that we do in our foreign policy” and “past time to rebuild USAID into the world’s premier development agency.” She referenced the Obama administration’s desire to build a partnership-based development model that implements “evidence-based strategies with clear goals.”

One of the steps the administration is already taking to ensure lasting results in global development is investing in women and girls. Clinton said, women and girls “are critical to advancing social, economic, and political progress. Women and girls are one of the world’s greatest untapped resources. Investing in the potential of women to lift and lead their societies is one of the best investments we can make. You all know the studies that have shown when a woman receives even just one year of schooling, her children are less likely to die in infancy or suffer from illness or hunger, and more likely to go to school themselves.”

She continued, “So today, the United States is taking steps to put women front and center in our development work. We are beginning to disaggregate by gender the data we collect on our programs, to measure how well our work is helping improve women’s health, income, and access to education and food. We’re starting to design programs with the needs of women in mind – by hiring more women as extension workers to reach women farmers, or women health educators to improve outreach to women and girls. And we are training more women in our partner countries to carry forward the work of development themselves – for example, through scholarships to women agricultural scientists in Kenya.”

“This is not only a strategic interest of the United States; it is an issue of great personal meaning and importance to me, and one that I have worked on for almost four decades. I will not accept words without deeds when it comes to women’s progress. I will hold our agencies accountable for ensuring that our government and our foreign policy support the world’s women and achieve lasting, meaningful results on these issues.”

Sources:

Secretary of State Clinton Remarks 1/6/10

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